BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's no secret. The economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday, the New York State Association of Counties released a report solidifying that fact.
From March to May, the New York saw a 28% decrease in taxable sales, compared to the stretch in 2019. From June to August, restrictions started to ease, and more money started flowing. During that time, the state saw 9% less taxable sales in a year over year comparison. Some counties even saw growth in that time, including Erie County.
The way Erie County brought money in, changed drastically from 2019 to 2020.
Gas stations took a 30% hit. Hotels went down 70%. Alcohol sales went up 30%.
Manufacturing, especially in Western New York, made it through the pandemic with few hiccups.
“In March and April we were down about 6,000 jobs but all those jobs have come back and then some, to the tune of an extra 2,000 from where we started in January,” said Peter Coleman of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance. He says people worried about losing their jobs in other industries should consider a manufacturing job.
“We need everybody from hospitality, to food service, to retail, that aren’t able to get into their job everyday and come and see what we’re providing,” said Coleman.
Dottie Gallagher of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership says Western New York will rebound.
“We will get out of this and we will thrive. The question is how quickly can we move, and how quickly can we make sure that we aren’t in a 25-year slug like we were when Bethlehem Steel closed. We need to move quicker, faster,” said Gallagher.
She says states need financial help from the federal government, otherwise taxes will increase, and businesses will suffer.
“The federal government has got to step in and provide a significant relief package to help cover the costs, never mind the lost revenue, the cost of actually managing the pandemic,” said Gallagher.